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Gassy German cows blamed for barn explosion

An alpine cattle herder escorts cows down into the valley during the annual Viehscheid cattle drive on September 11, 2013 near Bad Hindelang, Germany. 
Lennart Preiss/Getty Images

BERLIN - A herd of dairy cows nearly lifted the roof off their barn in central Germany when methane released by the animals caused an explosion.

Police in Hesse state said in a statement that a static electric charge apparently triggered the detonation, and a spurt of flame, on Monday at a farm in Rasdorf. The roof was slightly damaged and one cow suffered light burns. No people were hurt.

Police say 90 cows are kept in the shed and it wasn't clear why quantities of methane had built up. Bovine belching and flatulence releases large quantities of the gas.